April 21, 2014

Irving, Thompson to Join LeBron in Local Charity Game

Former Cleveland Cavaliers small forward LeBron James will be hosting a charity game in Akron, Ohio in the coming months and the team’s pair of first-round draft picks will be by his side.  James, along with friends Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul will be hosting what they have deemed to be a “Homecoming Tour,” four games played in the various select locals of each host’s preference. 

While each stop on the tour (Akron, Chicago, East Rutherford and New Orleans) will have a different roster of players, Cavalier fans will have the opportunity to see both Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson take to the hardwood as the recently drafted youngsters will lace up their high-tops at the University of Akron James A. Rhodes Arena on December 1.

The tour is the brainchild of Creative Artists Agency, the representing party of all four men, will be a charity-based event with proceeds from the tour (include events such as food drives, educational outreach programs and clinics in each city)going directly to the four players’ charitable foundations. For those who are unable to attend each stop but would still enjoy viewing the games, tour sponsor Google Plus will stream each game live at HomecomingTour.com.

Both Iriving and Thompson have suited up with James – as well as other current NBA stars – this past off-season in various capacities.  Thompson played in the South Florida All-Star Classic in October, dropping 14 points and seven rebounds in 12 minutes of play. Several weeks earlier, Irving played in Chris Paul’s charity gala, scoring 21 points while Thompson added four points and four rebounds.

The complete roster for the Akron game is yet to be confirmed, though it is expected that James and Wade’s teammate Chris Bosh will also be in town.

Gregory Shamus/NBAE/Getty Images

  • RyInCBus

    Ugh. Who cares? Are people really gonna pitch a fit over this? Nevermind, I know the answer to that question. Reminder: Its for charity!!

  • Lyon

    just don’t get hurt

  • Lyon

    @#1… so was the Decision

  • RyInCBus

    Scott, that comment was in no way directed towards you. Sorry if it came across as such. Just those who will be up in arms over this. We know they’re out there.

  • Julie

    There’s nothing I love more than meaningless basketball. Except meaningless basketball involving LeBron.

    I think I’m going to have to pass…

  • MrCleaveland

    I’m up in arms. Up, I tell you.

    More tone-deaf, brain-dead local athletes who couldn’t care less about the fans. Aren’t their PR handlers supposed to protect them from lose-lose situations like this? This would be like Colt McCoy and Phil Dawson signing up to play in an Art Modell charity touch football game.

  • JM

    I heard they are charging regular admission prices like an NBA game. That part is hilarious. It’s an exhibition guys, let’s drop the prices.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Ben

    This shouldn’t be a big deal, but it probably will be. The fact that both these guys have participated in other LBJ-related games already should soften the ‘blow’ to the fans. If we didn’t care in October, why care for the game in Akron?

    Also, it’s not the worst thing in the world to have these guys play in front of the hometown fans.

  • Pale Dragon

    I think it will be awesome when there will undoubtedly be some boos when LeBron is introduced, but huge cheers for Irving and Thompson.

  • willson

    Not sure if I’m being unreasonable, but I for one am not too pleased with current Cavs players playing with #6, even if it is for charity/for fun. If Art Modell held a charity poker event in Cleveland (or Akron, or Canton, etc), I would be upset if Gilbert or Lerner played in it. And to me, LeBron is barely half a rung above Modell in the stinking pit of all that is unholy.

  • Swig

    If they’re charging full price that’s B.S. Drop the price, give away a bunch of tickets to kids, and that’s where the money is going (to the kids). I’d rather our new players help support the area, than have all new bball fans in Akron rooting for the Heat.

  • http://www.60bpm.com/ Robbie

    Yeah, don’t really care, except like Lyon I just don’t want them to get hurt. Akron is James’ hometown and he’s made it abundantly clear that in his mind it’s a completely independent place in NEO, while most residents feel it’s all connected. I’ve got not problem with him holding a charity event in Akron and charging NBA prices.

    What I would like someone to explain is the whole charity thing. Is that different than raising awareness? I mean… the web indicates Rhodes Arena holds 5,500 people for basketball. I would be interested to know the actual $$$ amount that ends-up in local charities coffers after all things considered. My guess is these four guys could just write a check and bypass the hype and publicity, but I guess that’s probably what it’s really all about.

  • christopher

    If these guys really wanted to play in a charity game, it would be an NBA game, in an NBA arena where hundreds of employees work, in an NBA city where thousands of restaurant/bar/parking lot/vendors etc work.

    Oh, that’s not a charity game. That’s there job.

    On the subject of these guys playing together; ditto Ben.

    They already have. Big deal.

    But you know Fox 19 news is going to be sure to put the 3 guys burning #6 jerseys that day front and center broadcast, which means the story gets picked up by ESPN, which means another black eye for the city.

    #michiganstillsucks

  • christopher

    *Action 19 News.

  • Harv 21

    1) Agree that if either one of our not-in-playing-shape first rounders blows out a knee we need to burn more #6 jerseys, maybe with them in it.

    2) Pathetic, a transparent “charity” game in Akron, sticking his marketing elbow in the local water to test how ready we are for the start of his image rehab. How unfair that such less charismatic guys like Durant be stealing what should be his ad campaigns. Bronnie has much better teeth, much smilier and precious.(admit my mind is still poisoned after reading Whore of Akron and still riding the contact buzz from Raab’s hilarious venom).

  • Daredent

    I hope the owners re-form a new league and keep it about basketball this time, and not about endorsements and gettin’ paid. It’s a dumb idea to associate yourself right off the bat with the King Target of Cleveland Sports. Not a smart move at all.

  • @jogantt

    “Former Cleveland Cavaliers small forward LeBron James…” – Hilarious, I love it.

  • Pac

    I can’t believe that people in that area would even consider wasting their money on something like this. Just goes to show, that in a way, Cleveland fans are like dogs. Sometimes they’re too loyal for their own good. You could kick them in the face and they’ll come right back and lay down at your feet and hand you their money.

    “Yeah, lets head over to Progressive Field and watch good ol’ Jim Thome in an Indians uniform again” And as the team falls out of contention, you bump attendance just enough to keep the business profitable, encouraging the ownership to keep doing just enough to keep you coming back, nothing more.

    “We really need to get to this charity game… you know, cause we need to see these new kids that the Cavs drafted. So what if it’s sponsored by LeBron James. Who care if he rubbed our faces in the mud? It’s for charity. There’s no way that LeBron or his boys will get a cut of those proceeds… just like he didn’t get a cut from “the decision”, or use the massive influx of ratings from said “decision” to leverage a bigger endorsement payday from those companies that advertised during the show.”

    I love you Cleveland, but until you wake up and realize that your dollar bills are the only leverage you as fans have to use against mediocrity and tyranny, the hard times are just going to keep rolling…